American Girls (Paperback)
When fifteen-year-old Anna can’t stand her home life, she steals her stepmother’s credit card and runs away to Los Angeles to stay with her aspiring actress half-sister and ends up getting hired to research the Manson girls, a real group of murderous young women in the 1960s, for an indie film. What Anna ends up finding isn’t quite refuge; instead, it’s a clear look at herself and a realization about the dark heart of American girldom (as well as a little romance).— From Megan's Picks
Everyone is talking about American Girls
An ALA Booklist Top 10 First Novel
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of 2016
A Los Angeles Public Library Best Book of the Year 2016
A Bustle Best YA Book of the Year
Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she's had it with her life at home. So Anna "borrows" her stepmom's credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn't quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.
As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls--and although the violence in her own life isn't the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.
In Anna's singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America--in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn't, in a way not often seen in YA fiction.
"Messy, honest, and unflinchingly real. I can't get this book out of my head. I don't want to get this book out of my head." --Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
"An extraordinary book that shines a light on parts of the American experience we often overlook. Rich, complex, emotionally nuanced, wise, and layered." --Jeff Zentner, author of The Serpent King
"Funny, sad, often surprising, and just damned authentic." --emily m. danforth, author of The Miseducation of Cameron Post
"A razor-sharp commentary on our culture, observed with keen wit from the perspective of one honest and complex American girl." --Kirkus, starred review
"Bittersweet and true, Anna's journey to self-discovery is one that should be widely read." --ALA Booklist, starred review
"Reveals richly complicated relationships among mothers, daughters, and sisters." --Publishers Weekly, starred review
About the Author
ALISON UMMINGER grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and as an undergraduate was the fourth woman to be elected president of The Harvard Lampoon. Today, she is an associate professor at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, a blues musician, and their four-year-old daughter. American Girls is her first book.